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2 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

That’s over how many courses and in how many different weather conditions. I guarantee that if you someone’s looked at their patterns on a specific hole at a course they play frequently that pattern drops significantly. Which is what we are talking about here with playing the same course quite frequently.

From a purely statistical point of view, the more a person plays a hole the larger their shot pattern becomes on that hole because the ball isn't going to end up in the same place even if you aim there every time. If you have 1 drive, there is no cone or pattern its only a single point. You still have a chance to hit a big pull or slice on your home course where you know all the danger.  

In the hole for this example, if you gave me the option of hitting 1 drive or 100 drives with the goal being to miss the penalty area - I am taking the 1 drive. Eventually a player would have a shot pattern over 60 yards wide hitting driver enough on this hole. 

"Shot patterns" are based on some proportion (say 80% or 2 standard deviations) of the overall sample. Most people are working off rules of thumb from Decade which is 60 or 65 yards at 300 and results in 50 yards at 250 (derived from pros and low single digit competitors, less applicable to handicap golfers). OP said he needs 65 yards for driver, if the window is only 40 yards that means at least 1/3 of shots are hitting the tree left (losing 0.5-2 shots depending on where the ball ends up or lost) or turning too far right into the penalty area (1-2 shot penalty). If you average those 2 scenarios out to 1.25 lost shots x 0.33 = 0.4 shots lost due to penalties each time hitting driver. Dropping back from 250-220 is roughly 0.3 shots lost through reduced distance. So, this mostly becomes a player's choice but if the penalty situation is any worse it slants towards the layup. 

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31 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I'll quote myself for @RickyBobby_PR to read, to me this is the critical thing.  Given his moderate fade, the OP has about a 40-yard window between two rather disastrous consequences, at driver distance.  Left of the window, his ball hits a tree about 100 yards off the tee, right of the window he's in a Penalty Area or lost.  How many of your single digit players (I'm playing off 5 now, I'm in that group) can keep it within 20 yards of the center of the pattern most of the time.  Maybe they hit 30 or even 40% of their drivers outside of that window.  I've read that DEcade suggests a 70-yard window be considered for most players, 40 yards is incredibly small.  Every single time the tee shot is outside of that window, the cost is at least one stroke, and at least sometimes two strokes.  Given that by dropping back to hybrid, the OP has the chance to expand his "window" to 60 or 70 yards, and the worst result is a ball playable in the trees.  Outside of an unplayable lie, penalty strokes are off the table.  I drive the ball pretty straight, but to me the increased window makes the hybrid the better choice.

 

The op says his hybrid is 220 and he hits a draw. When you look at that the fairway narrows a lot in the 220 range and it brings the grouping of trees on the right into pay and even more penalizing of a miss there compared to the left side of the hole when hitting driver.

 

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8 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

The op says his hybrid is 220 and he hits a draw. When you look at that the fairway narrows a lot in the 220 range and it brings the grouping of trees on the right into pay and even more penalizing of a miss there compared to the left side of the hole when hitting driver.

He can't carry the 100-yard tree with driver, being left gives up over 100 yards when he hits that tree.  That's a REAL punishing miss.  He's said that the trees on the right aren't particularly dense, that a miss isn't too bad.

15 hours ago, HardcoreLooper said:

So yes, my effective cone width is probably more like 40 yards or so.  The fact that I can't hit the ball over those trees on the left side with a driver is a killer for me.  Hugging the left side of the fairway with my start line seems to me like shifting the center of the cone toward the trees left and brings them into play if my start line is anything left off perfect.

The 19* hybrid is a bit more accurate, and it definitely takes the penalty area out of play on the right (I can't reach it).  It also flies right to left (I draw everything but the driver; I can't hit a driver right to left and keep it on the planet so I set mine up for a fade).  If I put it in the trees to the left, I can punch out and advance the ball toward the green.  They aren't nearly as big an issue as the penalty area to the right.

 

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2 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

He can't carry the 100-yard tree with driver, being left gives up over 100 yards when he hits that tree.  That's a REAL punishing miss.  He's said that the trees on the right aren't particularly dense, that a miss isn't too bad.

 

The tree on the left really isn’t an issue with driver because he can aim inside the tree and still have 40+ yards of space with driver and it gets last the trees on the right with driver distance carry and total. 
 

People really make golf and course management a lot harder than it really is. 120+ feet of left to right ball flight is a lot of movement to have. 

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Stand somewhere in the circle on the tee box, aim to the inside of the cart path and play the fade with the driver. If the ball moves from that target line to anywhere on the last 1/4 part of the fairway or further right that’s a slice and the golfer should take lessons to fix a slice. If it move 15-20 yards which is probably the max of what most single digits handcaps that hit a 250 yard drive would see them the ball is still in the fairway. 
 

Other wise choose a club that splits the distance to the pin on half and hit that twice

 

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3 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

he can aim inside the tree and still have 40+ yards of space with driver

You're 100% right, if he hits the shot as intended there's no problem.  But if he pulls it even a little, with that intended start line, he's into that tree.  If we're honest with ourselves, or have good data, we miss the center of our "pattern" about equally left and right.  If you intend to just barely miss something, you're going to hit it way too often.

I'd suggest that without good data, most players significantly underestimate the variability of their own results.

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14 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

The tree on the left really isn’t an issue with driver because he can aim inside the tree and still have 40+ yards of space with driver and it gets last the trees on the right with driver distance carry and total. 
 

People really make golf and course management a lot harder than it really is. 120+ feet of left to right ball flight is a lot of movement to have. 

Based on your logic nobody would ever hit it in trees or a hazard. 

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13 hours ago, HardcoreLooper said:

220 definitely takes the penalty area out of play.  It's about 210 to carry the bunker left, so it comes into play with the 19*.  But, I can hedge out to the right to avoid the bunker.  The right trees are pretty playable; it's the penalty area that's a problem.

Assuming your hybrid dispersion is similar it appears hybrid is the play. 

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36 minutes ago, THEZIPR23 said:

Based on your logic nobody would ever hit it in trees or a hazard. 

Not saying that. But the chances of starting on the left side of the fairway and the ball ending up 50 yards on the right are low. As for the pull the op seems to not have a problem of pulling a lot of drives but again aiming inside the cart path it would have to be a massive pull or snap hook hit the tree on the left.

not to mention by the time someone especially a single digit golfer gets to this hole that have an understanding of what their swing is doing and what the tendency has been so far on the day and more than likely what the ball flight was in ore round warmup.

42 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

You're 100% right, if he hits the shot as intended there's no problem.  But if he pulls it even a little, with that intended start line, he's into that tree.  If we're honest with ourselves, or have good data, we miss the center of our "pattern" about equally left and right.  If you intend to just barely miss something, you're going to hit it way too often.

I'd suggest that without good data, most players significantly underestimate the variability of their own results.

I have zero idea what my dispersion pattern is and I have no desire to figure it out. I prefer a fade with driver and when I look at this hole a tree on the other side of the car path and a penalty area way right aren’t even in my thought process if I were standing on the tee box I’m probably not even aiming left side of the fairway. My target would be someone between the two black lines. If I pull it I’m still good and unless I just block the ball right from the start I’m going to be ok if I fade the ball more than I’m expecting

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Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

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6 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Not saying that. But the chances of starting on the left side of the fairway and the ball ending up 50 yards on the right are low. As for the pull the op seems to not have a problem of pulling a lot of drives but again aiming inside the cart path it would have to be a massive pull or snap hook hit the tree on the left.

not to mention by the time someone especially a single digit golfer gets to this hole that have an understanding of what their swing is doing and what the tendency has been so far on the day and more than likely what the ball flight was in ore round warmup.

I have zero idea what my dispersion pattern is and I have no desire to figure it out. I prefer a fade with driver and when I look at this hole a tree on the other side of the car path and a penalty area way right aren’t even in my thought process if I were standing on the tee box I’m probably not even aiming left side of the fairway. My target would be someone between the two black lines. If I pull it I’m still good and unless I just block the ball right from the start I’m going to be ok if I fade the ball more than I’m expecting

8AC0A409-D3C4-4963-B32E-E0F72302955E.jpeg

I would suggest understanding dispersion and variance within that. I don't need a strategy for my good shots, strategy encompasses almost all shots that I am capable of, there will still be some outliers. You are correct that that is probably the point to aim. However the question isn't where to aim it is: If I play this hole 100 times what tee club gives me the best scoring result. 

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13 minutes ago, THEZIPR23 said:

I would suggest understanding dispersion and variance within that. I don't need a strategy for my good shots, strategy encompasses almost all shots that I am capable of, there will still be some outliers. You are correct that that is probably the point to aim. However the question isn't where to aim it is: If I play this hole 100 times what tee club gives me the best scoring result. 

I could care less about dispersion and variance. I know my swing and my swing tendencies and use my course knowledge in my decision making. My brother who is a high handicap who plays a big slice if he asked what to play and where to aim I’m telling him to line up on the right side aim down the left side and hit driver. His worst swing isn’t going to travel from the left side of the fairway to the penalty area. 
 

 

Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

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1 hour ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

I could care less about dispersion and variance. I know my swing and my swing tendencies and use my course knowledge in my decision making. My brother who is a high handicap who plays a big slice if he asked what to play and where to aim I’m telling him to line up on the right side aim down the left side and hit driver. His worst swing isn’t going to travel from the left side of the fairway to the penalty area. 
 

 

That’s fine,  we are explaining how and why we make decisions just as you are.   Everyone needs to do what they feel is right; our approaches just aren’t the same.  

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9 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Stand somewhere in the circle on the tee box, aim to the inside of the cart path and play the fade with the driver. If the ball moves from that target line to anywhere on the last 1/4 part of the fairway or further right that’s a slice and the golfer should take lessons to fix a slice. If it move 15-20 yards which is probably the max of what most single digits handcaps that hit a 250 yard drive would see them the ball is still in the fairway. 
 

Other wise choose a club that splits the distance to the pin on half and hit that twice

 

049D6B5C-A394-4239-9F89-ECB1128BED28.jpeg

The circle you drew is not on the tee box.  If it were, I'd stand at the right edge of your circle and have plenty of room to aim left of the center of my dispersion but far enough right that a "normal" pull or alignment problem wouldn't put me in the tree.  The tee is uncomfortably far to the left and it brings the tree into play for a fader.  

The tree makes the hole.

If I could hit driver over the tree, or if I felt comfortable drawing the driver, it wouldn't be an issue.  The left trees aren't that penal.  The right trees aren't that penal.  There's an easy 65+ yards left of the penalty area if the tree isn't in play for you off the tee.

I see what you're saying about starting the ball just to the right of the cart path, but a pull is going to put me into the tree.  It's in the left side of my dispersion.  I wish I never hit a Thurman Munson, but I usually hit one a round.  I shot 75 on Father's Day and hit one.  But the hole was plenty wide, my aim point was good, I hit the ball into the rough, and had a chance to hit the green.  I missed the green and made bogey, but the tee shot didn't kill me and neither did the bogey.

If I could fit the ball into 50-ish yards side to side with a driver, I'd be a much, much better player than I am.  

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11 hours ago, BMart519 said:

"Shot patterns" are based on some proportion (say 80% or 2 standard deviations) of the overall sample. Most people are working off rules of thumb from Decade which is 60 or 65 yards at 300 and results in 50 yards at 250 (derived from pros and low single digit competitors, less applicable to handicap golfers). OP said he needs 65 yards for driver, if the window is only 40 yards that means at least 1/3 of shots are hitting the tree left (losing 0.5-2 shots depending on where the ball ends up or lost) or turning too far right into the penalty area (1-2 shot penalty). If you average those 2 scenarios out to 1.25 lost shots x 0.33 = 0.4 shots lost due to penalties each time hitting driver. Dropping back from 250-220 is roughly 0.3 shots lost through reduced distance. So, this mostly becomes a player's choice but if the penalty situation is any worse it slants towards the layup. 

I think you've done a good job of working out the math behind what feels like such a coin flip of a decision off the tee.  And that's what makes an otherwise forgettable mid-length par 4 a real challenge.

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I would hit my 3 hybrid off the tee…it’s my 210-220 yard club. That would keep me short of the trouble and leave me a full 9 iron into the green.

 

 

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9 hours ago, HardcoreLooper said:

The tree makes the hole.

This is where we disagree the most in processing club selection and course management. A tree or even a small cluster of trees on the other side of the cart path to me when I stand on a tee box bear zero relevance in my thinking about a shot especially one that close to the tee box. Even though I have a tendency to pull driver. My range warmup before a round already tells me what my tendency is going to be that round and I play my shots based on that. 

9 hours ago, HardcoreLooper said:

I see what you're saying about starting the ball just to the right of the cart path, but a pull is going to put me into the tree.  It's in the left side of my dispersion.  I wish I never hit a Thurman Munson, but I usually hit one a round.  I shot 75 on Father's Day and hit one.  But the hole was plenty wide, my aim point was good,

One pulled drive a round anyone could have that happen and many times it’s when we don’t. That tree to me for a pulled shot would have to be my worst pull ever or a snap hook off the tee. 
 

I pulled a drive on 3 consecutive holes Sunday. 1 had me in a bad lie and was a bounce left from going OB, one had me further out from the hole by 2 clubs with a worse angle into the green and the last one cost me a ball ob...this hole is tighter than the one you are talking about and has ob just off the cart part right and on the left after being in thick nasty weeds and grass just past the rough. 9/10 times I play this hole I’m 100 yards unless wind is in the face. I’m either middle/right side of fairway or just into the rough. If I hit it so so and don’t catch the fairway I may find the fairway bunker.

The other time I’m left in the rough but around 100-125yards out. I don’t think about the possibility of a lost ball left or going on left. Despite not much room on the right and having a fade flight I don’t think about the ob right to avoid negative thoughts and then end up making a swing that brings that into play. 
 

What I see in this thread is people looking at the negatives and standing on the tee thinking about worse case scenario and talking themselves out of a shot, rather than being in a positive mindset. And possibly even paralysis by analysis

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11 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

What I see in this thread is people looking at the negatives and standing on the tee thinking about worse case scenario and talking themselves out of a shot, rather than being in a positive mindset.

To me, proper planning means looking at all reasonably likely outcomes for each of the available choices, and choosing the plan that offers the best chances for the lowest score, long term.  I try to look objectively at both the good and bad potential outcomes, try to estimate probabilities for each, and try to estimate the impact on my score for each.  This doesn't actually take as long to do as it takes to type it out, but those are the general steps. Once I decide, I can make a confident swing, believing that I've made the best possible choice.

In my experience, ignoring the reasonably possible bad outcomes leads to more penalty strokes, and higher overall scores.  Sure, being 30 yards closer on the good shots with a driver will produce a few more birdies, but penalty shots and lost balls will mean higher scores in the long run.  I'd probably hit driver on this hole, because I don't have to deal with a fade.  For the OP, however, the fade narrows the acceptable window, and makes using a shorter club a more attractive choice.

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48 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

This is where we disagree the most in processing club selection and course management. A tree or even a small cluster of trees on the other side of the cart path to me when I stand on a tee box bear zero relevance in my thinking about a shot especially one that close to the tee box. Even though I have a tendency to pull driver. My range warmup before a round already tells me what my tendency is going to be that round and I play my shots based on that. 

What I see in this thread is people looking at the negatives and standing on the tee thinking about worse case scenario and talking themselves out of a shot, rather than being in a positive mindset. 

The difference isn’t a negative mindset or even something really done on a tee box.  Most of us are making a plan on the line and club before we even get to the course based on expectation management and what provides the best chance to avoid bogey or worse.   What you do on the range or on prior holes may tweak that decision.    We are saying walk on the tee box with the intent of hitting the ball into the middle of the fairway,  play you natural cut shot a and hit it 220 yards.  100% commitment.  
 

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Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15* set  to 16.5* w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 816H1 19* set at 18* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
                :titelist-small: 915H  21*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
               :titelist-small: 915H 24*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
Irons:      :honma:TR20V 6-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
Wedge:  :callaway-small: 54-10S   :cleveland-small: 588  58-12
Putter:  :seemore-small: mFGP2

Backups:  :bobby-grace-1: 6330, :taylormade-small:TM-180, :odyssey-small: Milled Collection RSX 2, Bellum Winmore 787

 

Member:  MGS Hitsquad since 2017697979773_DSCN2368(Custom).JPG.a1a25f5e430d9eebae93c5d652cbd4b9.JPG

 

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The tour pros are the best guide for the answer. You hear "less than driver" and "3 metal" (hate both terms btw) and see lots of 5 woods, 7 woods, hybrids and long irons off the tee on lots of par 4s and some par 5s on both the PGA and LPGA. Going driver is a classic amateur mistake.  You see it all the time at the range as well. Golf is about going low and you know driver is not the comfortable play here so go hybrid, give yourself a shot at birdie or an easy par, "Christmas shop" the tall grass as you stroll by for someone else's lost ProV1 and move on to the next. Bonus tip:  Your described driver flight. High cut with a random low pull sounds like mine until a recent lesson. My club head and feet/hips were properly aligned but I didn't realize my shoulders were misaligned left of target. The PGA Professional had me line up normally, then turn my left shoulder until it felt like the shoulders were slightly right of target. Now bombing driver even with an easier swing.  Give it a try on the range. Love to know if it helps you.

Edited by FmrCaddie13
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Short game savant, driving disaster...

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